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tv   BBC News  BBC News  December 16, 2020 4:30pm-5:01pm GMT

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few hours with meet in a few hours with leaders totte n he m meet in a few hours with leaders tottenham making the trip to anfield to face the reigning champions. liverpool's efforts hampered so far this season by efforts to several senior players. some have returned, others like james milner haven't. spurs boss chose migno says too much has been made of it. alisson is not injured, alexander—arnold is not injured, alexander—arnold is not injured, matip, i believe that he's going to play. fabinho is not injured. robertson is not injured. anderson is not injured, siler let's not injured, money is not injured. —— mo salah is not injured. van dijk is injured, and van dijk is a very good player of course. but give me a
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liverpool list of injuries and compare that list of injuries with what is the best liverpool team. west brom go to anfield next weekend — but not with their manager slaven bilic who's been sacked after 18 months in charge. the club's second from bottom in the premier league with just one win all season. but they did put in a good performance last night, getting a 1—1 draw at manchester city. in a statement west brom thanked bilic — and his staff — for achieving promotion last season. they're not commenting on his replacement, with sam allardyce amongst the names in contention to takeover at the hawthorns. trials of concussion substitutes have been approved by football's lawmakers ifab this afternoon. it means from next month clubs could get an additional substitution for incidents like this. you might remember wolves striker rauljiminez suffered a fractured skull in a clash of heads with arsenal's david luiz, who carried on playing for a while,after being treated on the touchline. it's set to be introduced by the fa for its competitions from january — with the premier league voting
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on it tomorrow. it has been a long time coming. i think there has been a general reluctance, football in general, particularly the fa, to acknowledge there is even a problem and i don't think they have done anything or acted quickly enough, and it takes a horrific incident like the david luiz human is one to make them do something. the football association is looking into a crowd—related incident at cambridge united afterfans were heard booing players taking a knee against racism before last night's game with colchester. it follows similar incidents at both millwall and a home colchester game. cambridge say the actions of a "tiny majority" are "hugely disappointing". people should really get the impression... not get the impression that this is normalfor cambridge,
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it really isn't, and it was a small number of people. the vast majority of ourfans are number of people. the vast majority of our fans are completely opposed to racism in all its forms. we are an incredible liberal minded unit, and this was just so out of step. so it's disappointing, but we'll deal with it. and exeter‘s heineken champions cup match at toulouse on sunday has been cancelled because of a covid—i9 outbreak at the chiefs. glasgow's home game against lyon on saturday is also off — because they played exeter last weekend. 20 warriors players are now self—isolating. our rugby union correspondent chris jones has been telling me european bosses are now going to meet to decide what happens next: because of fixture congestion, very little to no chance these games can be rearranged so now a european cup panel will meet to decide how and whether and why a team can all
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couldn't fulfil the fixture and therefore how to allocate the match points. so more news on that in due course. what happens to those match points that would been played for in these games but confirmation came that glasgow against lyon and toulouse against exeter have both been cancelled. that is all your support for now, more for you in an hour, for now back to you jane. a very good afternoon to you. you are watching bbc news, i am jane hill to take you through the next couple of hours of reaction to that news c0 nfe re nce couple of hours of reaction to that news conference by the prime minister and professor chris whitty. just in the last hour if you didn't see it, the prime minister said people should think hard about their christmas plans, but added that the government is not changing the decision to ease covid restrictions for five days over the festive period. borisjohnson said the uk government and devolved administrations are asking people to ta ke ste ps administrations are asking people to take steps to reduce the risk if and when they do meet others, pleading reducing contact with people in the
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five days before christmas, travelling from areas of higher prevalence to those with low prevalence, and avoiding staying away from home overnight if at all possible. reiterating the prime minister's words, professor chris whitty, england's chief medical officer said, keep it small, keep it short, keep it local and think of vulnerable people. let's just short, keep it local and think of vulnerable people. let'sjust hear a little of what the prime minister said at number ten in the last hour. having looked at the latest data with our colleagues in the devolved administrations — scotland, wales, northern ireland — we have decided that the overall situation is, alas, more challenging than we'd hoped when we first set the rules. so, while it would not be right, we think, to criminalise people who have made plans and simply want to spend time with their loved ones, we are collectively — across the uk, governments at every level — asking you to think hard and in detail about the days ahead, and whether you can do more to protect yourself and others. we are keeping the laws
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the same, but we all want to send the same message — a smaller christmas is going to be a safer christmas, and a shorter christmas is a safer christmas. professor devi sridhar is chair of global public health at edinburgh university medical school. let's get reaction to that press conference. good afternoon. good afternoon. i mean, quite a shift in tone and language and message here, evenif tone and language and message here, even if the actual rules are the same. is that appropriate, do you think? definitely. it is great to hear the government is starting to listen to scientists who are warning
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about the risk christmas presents. we need to know going into indoor gatherings people will be spending a lot of time with their loved ones and it is incredibly risky so i think caution is the word of the day to day and that is the message that came out clearly. would you have liked politicians to be even bolder, to say, do you know what, really if it all possible, is it worth it? perhaps to even go back on what has been promised so far? perhaps to even go back on what has been promised so far7|j perhaps to even go back on what has been promised so far? i don't think it is going back on what has been promised, the evidence base has changed. we know prevalence is much higher in london and the south—east. we saw what happened with american thanksgiving and the increase in rates afterwards, so if the evidence changes you need to change your recommendations and forming it is really simple, it is three things, stay at home if you secondly don't travel, we don't want to break down the tier system just coming out, and we are starting to get a handle on it and third if you want to meet people, meet them outdoors, outside gatherings are so much safer, so see
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your loved ones in safe conditions instead of risking it inside. but thatis instead of risking it inside. but that is interesting, you have said the evidence has changed, we can draw lessons from thanksgiving in the states. would you have liked the prime minister to be much, much firmer actually than he has been today? yes, definitely, but it is easy for me to say as a scientist, scientists are used to being unpopular, we can just lay out the fa cts o n unpopular, we can just lay out the facts on the evidence and people may not like it. politicians have two of different constituents and there is a balance of trying to give some people really. i don't like the language around cancelling christmas, nobody is doing that, we're just rethinking it, christmas, nobody is doing that, we'rejust rethinking it, we are actually delaying it. vaccines are being rolled out so in a couple weeks if you can prevent your loved one from being infected, they will be vaccinated, so don't think about cancelling christmas but reimagining it, and we are in a pandemic and thatis it, and we are in a pandemic and that is happening in every country around the world, there are trade—offs being made. around the world, there are trade-offs being made. it was interesting to hear chris whitty
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talking about, keep it local. is there something to be talked about there something to be talked about there that whatever you are doing, just try not to travel too far, is that something people should be thinking about? i appreciate it is difficult, people will be watching this saying i put my train ticket three weeks ago when i was first told the dates but again as a scientist, would you say that his spot on, keep it local?” scientist, would you say that his spot on, keep it local? ithink scientist, would you say that his spot on, keep it local? i think that is completely right. what cmo chris whitty said about travelling from high prevalence to low prevalence, because the tier system protects low prevalence but you have movement of new chains of infection into various areas you were just receive it and have all tiers moving upwards to a national lockdown in january and fabry. i would really let people think very cautiously about movements. it is hard for everyone. my movements. it is hard for everyone. my family as far away, i won't be seeing them this christmas but i think we are in a pandemic, just a couple more weeks, a couple more months. we have been in this for a long time is right now caution is the word of the game and looking out for each other and our communities.
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and you feel the vaccine is something that could shift the dial within a matter of months? i don't expect you to put a hard and fast date on it but there is a change coming, you feel? we already have a change because we have three vaccines that are safe and effective, pfizer, maidana, and looks like astrazeneca coming online soon so looks like astrazeneca coming online soon so we looks like astrazeneca coming online soon so we will already be able to prevent deaths, which is incredibly exciting, because now we can do that by vaccinating the most vulnerable members and going after hospitals and care homes which have been two sources of transmission. the larger question is do the vaccine stop transmission? this is a huge question, because if they do then we are question, because if they do then we a re really question, because if they do then we are really on our way we can start doing mass vaccinations to getting a handle on this. if they don't then we have to carefully think how do we mix suppression mechanisms, test, trace, isolate, border restrictions, looking over super spreading events with the vaccine. so there remains more information to come but i think
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already if you tell me ten months ago we would have a vaccine, i would have been in shock because we have never had a vaccine this quickly and one that has such effective outcomes against severe covid. that's really interesting. good to talk to you, thank you for your time. we can speak now to the shadow health secretary, jonathan ashworth. good afternoon. i hope you had some of one scientific‘s opinion there. has the prime minister gone far enough this afternoon with this shift in tone? i think the prime minister was confusing this afternoon at his press conference, seeming to say to the country that the five days easing are staying in place, but don't take advantage of them. the last thing we needed was more confusion. we needed clarity today. sadly the virus is getting out of control again. we are not
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going into the christmas period with the buffer zone, the headroom that we we re the buffer zone, the headroom that we were promised by the prime minister and matt hancock a few weeks ago. the tiered system has not done enough to contain the virus to the extent they told us it would. we still don't have the tracing, the testing and the isolation regime in place that is necessary. we would have liked to have seen some toughening up today from the prime minister. perhaps something along the lines of what we have seen in wales, around reducing household mixing tattoo households. the nhs is really doctors and nurses in our wards, busy hospital are really worried. and i think the prime minister, i think you will have to go further in the coming days. right, so you think this isn't over, you think you will have to say what mark drakeford you think you will have to say what mark dra keford is you think you will have to say what mark drakeford is saying today, two households, not three? let's see, but he often says one thing and do something completely different a couple of days later, doesn't he, with borisjohnson. you certainly
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never get consistency with this particular prime minister. so you would support him going even further? we would if we felt he needed to toughen up the restrictions like we have seen in wales but the key thing is clarity, because people want to do the right thing, they want to protect themselves, their loved ones, their friends, theirfamilies. themselves, their loved ones, their friends, their families. they just need guidance, clear guidance from the government, not mixed messaging. is it mixed messaging because we have wales and scotland already starting to say slightly different things? is there a problem there? but wales and scotland are quite understandably looking at the rising infection rates, the rise in hospital admissions, and they can see we are heading into an incredibly precious time for our national health service across the whole of the united kingdom, and we are taking our foot off the gas, if you like. with these e—zines. and i think when you've got doctors and
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nurses and health professionals speaking out in the way in which they are speaking out, we should listen to them. so we would have expected some toughening up from the prime minister today. he didn't go that far. he may well have to go further in the coming days but we certainly need clarity across the united kingdom, asap. so if you were health secretary, in matt hancock's position right now, what would you be saying to borisjohnson? what with the practicable thing you would say be, would you tell the nation it is the 24th on the 25th only or whatever? what with the practical thing be that you would advise? we don't have access to the modelling. chris whitty was interesting saying that he had done modelling and this will have an impact, it will mean a rise in infection which will mean a rise in infection which will mean a rise in infection which will mean a rise in hospital admissions which sadly will mean a rise in deaths. but we don't have access to that modelling. if we did we would be studying it carefully and we would
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be saying to the prime minister look at what you are doing here and consider the different options for toughening up the restrictions like they have done in wales, because we have to do all we can to continue to drive, or to drive infections down that are rising again, drive them down everywhere, and ensure our national health service is not overwhelmed in the coming weeks as we go into january. but the prime minister said i don't want to criminalise christmas, because there will be people who in good faith have booked rail tickets, plane tickets, paid a lot of money, made their plans in good faith, and are you to those i'm sorry about your £200 you have just spent on a train fare, you just can't go? nobody wa nts to fare, you just can't go? nobody wants to criminalise christmas, and no one is talking about cancelling christmas. christmas day will still happen, and santa will still come down the chimney for lunch of excited children like my own children, so there will still be christmas, but what we are saying is
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that we know that this virus thrives on interaction, and sadly it exploits ambiguity, so we needed crystal—clear messaging from the government today, and i think they will have to look again at this, and we would urge them to look again at this as quickly as possible. but it is getting a bit late, isn't it? exactly, that is why borisjohnson needs to get his act together on it. we didn't get the press conference a ccu ra cy we didn't get the press conference accuracy today couple should have had a clear message and i suspect he will have to toughen up the restrictions in the coming days. he would have been better off doing it today but i think you will have to revisit this in the coming days. all right, jonathan ashworth come in that case we will be talking again. thank you very much for now. let's also get the thoughts of sir david king. sir david king was chief scientific advisor to the government from 2000—2007, and now chairs the group independent sage — a group of scientists who have sometimes been critical of the government's handling of the coronavirus pandemic.
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sir david, good afternoon. good afternoon. do you think there was clarity from the prime minister? what did you make of it?|j clarity from the prime minister? what did you make of it? i was actually feeling rather sad at the end of listening to it, really for some of the reasons you have just heard. i mean, for example, christmas, what does christmas mean to most families? first of all, it isa to most families? first of all, it is a multi—generational gathering, it isa is a multi—generational gathering, it is a gathering of grandparents, pa rents, it is a gathering of grandparents, parents, of children, it is an age spread. it's also, if ijust can refer for example to a child's christmas in wales, the dylan thomas piece, it is around a fire or around a big table with a wonderful meal and afair a big table with a wonderful meal and a fair bit of booze. all of this is not conducive to managing a pandemic, and i really hate to be
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sounding like a real spoilsport, i am going to miss my own grandchildren, my own children, who i haven't been seeing face—to—face for a very long time. and over christmas is when we all gathered together. so i think really that we cannot afford to do this, and for the simple reason that the government has been unable to put in place a functioning test, trace, isolate and support system. and if you don't isolate the people who have recently got the disease, the people who have the disease and the people who have the disease and the people who have been in contact with them from the healthy part of population, then we are all at risk. what i am talking about with that multi—generational family gathering is for children and grandchildren will be coming in contact with older
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people who are very much at risk, and you heard a very buoyant comment about the state of vaccines, and of course we are all very happy to see vaccines developed but nobody is going to be vaccinated before christmas. the second vaccinations are going to come after christmas, so are going to come after christmas, so nobody is going to be immune in that over 80s group that has quite rightly been given priority. so having this before the vaccination has taken place for the over 80s is asking for death rates to go up. it is asking for hospitals to once again come under enormous pressure, but let me also add it puts once again the economy under extreme pressure. there doesn't seem to be a real understanding here that there is no dichotomy, it is a false
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dichotomy, sorry, between the economy and the health of the nation. those countries that have seen nation. those countries that have seen this disease taking off because they didn't see lockdown, they didn't see the test and trace operating, have emerged worse, in terms of being hit in the economy, worse in terms of the cost of the country, and the worst in terms of deaths per 100,000 people. so all of this is telling me that christmas is something where we shouldn't even have other families present. sorry to interrupt but would you therefore have liked to have heard boris johnson being much more blunt with his language, to say either don't do it, just have your celebrations within the people that you share a house with, to be that specific? is that what was required, do you feel? ido that what was required, do you feel? i do feel that and i do feel the original announcement was u nfortu nate original announcement was unfortunate but it is difficult for him to backtrack on this. but
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nevertheless it is so really unbelievably silly to pursue this line. if we knew for example that a grandchild, say a 15 grandchild coming into contact with an 85—year—old grandparent and giving them a hug was going to pass the virus on to them, we would surely save for goodness' sake don't do that. so i guess i am extremely frustrated. the government has not understood the key message, fund the public health system to deliver test, trace and isolate, separate out those who have the disease from the rest of us before you undo these lockdown procedures, otherwise you arejust asking for lockdown procedures, otherwise you are just asking for it to run into yet another pandemic wave. and when we hear scotland and wales during a
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slightly different route, being a bit firmer, saying for example to households not three, and keep your celebrations very short, from your perspective, does that help, or is your point so keenly about the intergenerational nature about this that actually for you it is not about numbers, it is about who is meeting whom? yes, and it is not just intergenerational. it is because the reason why we have a uk wide agreement, and by the way i wish we had a uk wide agreement on everything, to do with this, the reason why we have that is to allow people to cross the borders between northern ireland, scotland, wales and england to meet up with parents and england to meet up with parents and grandparents, and i think so those places where the disease is now spreading rapidly will simply be passing this on to other parts of the country. we are going to see a
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uk wide increase in the number of cases. our hospitals surely have been put under so much strain, and the number of deaths from people who don't have covid—19, who have just had to be put off from urgent operations that would have probably given them ten or 20 years more life are also dying, so what we see is a situation that just goes are also dying, so what we see is a situation thatjust goes beyond. everybody listening to you will understand what you are saying of course. there may also of course be the pragmatists who think well, politicians have to balance all the information that comes to them from people like yourself but by the same token think about pragmatics, and is there not a chance here that politicians are thinking if we just say don't celebrate christmas, people will go ahead and do it anyway, and that they tried to put
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para meters anyway, and that they tried to put parameters around it because they we re parameters around it because they were trying to have some sort of regulation? we are in such a strange place, aren't we? the number of deaths per week at the moment is around, it is over 3000 deaths per week in the united kingdom, sorry in england. sorry, i'm going to repeat that, 3000 deaths uk wide per week. that is a vast number of deaths, and are we saying we don't mind if that goes up to 4000 or 5000? i can't quite believe that anyone is saying that. so it is not a matter of pragmatism at all, it is a matter of straightforward common sense, and whether you look at it from a scientific viewpoint or an economic viewpoint orfrom a scientific viewpoint or an economic viewpoint or from a health viewpoint, you come to the same conclusion, surely? sir david king, thank you very much forjoining us
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this evening. former chief scientific adviser. we will have a continuing reaction to those announcements, to that real shift in tone, certainly, from the prime minister, who said keep christmas mall. professor chris whitty said keep it small, keep it local, that is his advice, and think about vulnerable people. that was something professor chris whitty kept stressing as well, so we will have more reaction after 5pm. we will just pause right have more reaction after 5pm. we willjust pause right now and take a look at the weather prospects, which come from darren bett. hello, there. more wet weather around today and in some parts of the country more windy weather as well. it has been particularly wet in the south—west of england, not only wet but we had some very strong winds bringing some very rough seas early on in the day. this is our next wet and windy weather waiting to come in from the atlantic on friday. this was the cloud that brought the rain in from the west today,
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around an area of low pressure, which brought the very strong winds from the south—west approaches through the irish sea and into the north channel. those winds are easing down though through the rest of the day. still some quite strong winds at time. we have some wetter weather across western scotland this evening. that last of the rain clinging on to some eastern parts of england. that will move through. it turns more showery in scotland. this evening, there could be a few heavy, thundery ones. perhaps coming into west wales and the south—west of england. overnight, breezy, some clearer spells away from those showers mainly in western areas, and it will turn a bit cooler as well in rural areas. we could be down to three orfour degrees. so not desperately cold for this time of the year. things a little bit more straightforward tomorrow, sunny spells, a few scattered showers mainly for the western areas, particularly across western scotland. they become fewer in the afternoon, cloud increases from the west, and we start to see rain coming in to northern ireland by the end of the day. still some sunshine, albeit turning hazy across eastern scotland and eastern parts of them. scotland and eastern parts of england.
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not a bad day here at all, temperatures around nine or ten degrees. that weather front bringing in the rain to western areas pushes its way eastward during the night, and the rain tends to peter out as it runs towards the south—east of the uk. the next weather system coming in behind with more rain. this is what is left of the first weather system, a lot of cloud, a bit of dampness too. here is the more persistent rain, heavy there across the west, particularly across south wales and the south—west of england. some sunshine for a while in the north—east of scotland, north of scotland, high temperatures as well, a very mild day with those southerly winds, 13 or 14, potentially even 15 degrees, in north—eastern wales. that milder air gets pushed away overnight and through the week end we start to draw in cooler and cooler air. not particularly cold. still relatively mild for the time of year but we are turning a little cooler, and it is a mixture again this weekend of sunny spells and scattered showers, some heavier ones mainly in the west.
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this is bbc news. the headlines... new guidance about who you see and what you do over christmas — and it's different from nation to nation. the prime minister said it would be inhuman to cancel christmas — but urged people to exercise "the greatest personal "responsibility" over the festive period. have yourselves a merry little christmas, i'm afraid this year, i do mean little. keep it small. keep it short. keep it local. and think of the most vulnerable people. the welsh government says only two households can now meet over christmas and the nation will go into full lockdown from december the 28th. people in scotland are being advised to meet for only one


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